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Im sure you guys have had this issue...Ive been having some episodes and part of it is due to the fact that I cant keep a job.

I keep having episodes and it affects my minimum wage part time employment. Im about to ask my pdoc for Lamictal or Topomax but in the meantime Im working

as a house cleaner and its killing me physically. So you guessed it Im ready to leave this job too. Depression is settling in again too

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*add fellow person suffering MI symptoms due to lack of job*

Unemployment/underemployment/job at risk/etc. are sources of emotional trauma and eventually PTSD, at least from what I learned being a psych minor in college. I am sure that The Economy has caused new-found cases of MI to pop up everywhere.

I don't know which country you live in (I'm assuming the USA?), but things are very harsh here on both those who are physically and mentally disabled. The fact that there simply aren't enough jobs to go around makes us getting a job 10x harder, if not outright impossible, for those of us with disabilities. It's outright HR cruelty in most places.

However, you have two VERY good things running for you here:

*You currently have a job, which automatically makes you more attractive in the market for existing jobs. Note that your current job (minimum wage, physical labor) could be a part of the source of your misery.

*You realize the root of your disability, can see that it's affecting your work, and are considering treating it. Please do see your pdoc about this and don't fall into the hole I did when I came down with meningitis 6+ years ago. I haven't had a job for 4 years and nobody wants to hire me.

So please, please do talk to your doctor about the possibility of bipolar affecting your job and getting new meds. Maybe you will then be able to find a better job, reversing the vicious spiral.

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*add fellow person suffering MI symptoms due to lack of job*

Unemployment/underemployment/job at risk/etc. are sources of emotional trauma and eventually PTSD, at least from what I learned being a psych minor in college. I am sure that The Economy™ has caused new-found cases of MI to pop up everywhere.

I don't know which country you live in (I'm assuming the USA?), but things are very harsh here on both those who are physically and mentally disabled. The fact that there simply aren't enough jobs to go around makes us getting a job 10x harder, if not outright impossible, for those of us with disabilities. It's outright HR cruelty in most places.

However, you have two VERY good things running for you here:

*You currently have a job, which automatically makes you more attractive in the market for existing jobs. Note that your current job (minimum wage, physical labor) could be a part of the source of your misery.

*You realize the root of your disability, can see that it's affecting your work, and are considering treating it. Please do see your pdoc about this and don't fall into the hole I did when I came down with meningitis 6+ years ago. I haven't had a job for 4 years and nobody wants to hire me.

So please, please do talk to your doctor about the possibility of bipolar affecting your job and getting new meds. Maybe you will then be able to find a better job, reversing the vicious spiral.

Ive lost, quit or almost been fired from so many jobs that I guess its finally starting to make sense.

Thank you for the response and Im sorry for your employment struggles. Im in the US and once I can get my mind to a "tolerable"place Id like to go back to school.

Can you tell me more about Lamictal? My pdoc said I shoud research mood stabilizers and I see her this Tues. Im thinking Topomax or Lamictal. Effexor makes me manic at higher doses and

at 37.5mg Im depressed again.

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Ive lost, quit or almost been fired from so many jobs that I guess its finally starting to make sense.

Thank you for the response and Im sorry for your employment struggles. Im in the US and once I can get my mind to a "tolerable"place Id like to go back to school.

Can you tell me more about Lamictal? My pdoc said I shoud research mood stabilizers and I see her this Tues. Im thinking Topomax or Lamictal. Effexor makes me manic at higher doses and

at 37.5mg Im depressed again.

Well, as for Lamictal, my pdoc swears by it as the drug of choice for his "predominantly depressed bipolar patients", which (at least on the sheet he gives to the insurance company) describes me. It is a difficult drug to both get onto and come off of, but in my case it was worth it. Going up on the drug made me very dizzy/klutzy/ataxic (bouncing off the walls - LITERALLY!) but my body got used to it within a few weeks.

Coming down/off? May as well forget about coming off of it, my experience is that sorta like Effexor, once you're on Lamictal, you are ON Lamictal, but I was able to come down from 400mg/d to 100mg/d since 400mg was impairing my thinking (at least I felt that way). The taper did make me a bit irritable, though, and I don't envision myself quitting the drug anytime soon. So basically my personal take on Lamictal is that it's a mood stabilizer with antidepressant properties.

And as far as Topamax is concerned, well, its nicknames (Dopamax, Stupamax, Dumbamax, etc.) on here should speak volumes on what it does to your cognition. I remember discussing cognitive SEs of Lamictal with my pdoc and he noted that most of the studies about Lamictal's cognitive SEs were in comparison to Topamax's cognitive SEs, in which case the researchers doing the studies may as well be comparing Lamictal to being hit on the head with a hammer. :smartass:

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Well, as for Lamictal, my pdoc swears by it as the drug of choice for his "predominantly depressed bipolar patients", which (at least on the sheet he gives to the insurance company) describes me. It is a difficult drug to both get onto and come off of, but in my case it was worth it. Going up on the drug made me very dizzy/klutzy/ataxic (bouncing off the walls - LITERALLY!) but my body got used to it within a few weeks.

Coming down/off? May as well forget about coming off of it, my experience is that sorta like Effexor, once you're on Lamictal, you are ON Lamictal, but I was able to come down from 400mg/d to 100mg/d since 400mg was impairing my thinking (at least I felt that way). The taper did make me a bit irritable, though, and I don't envision myself quitting the drug anytime soon. So basically my personal take on Lamictal is that it's a mood stabilizer with antidepressant properties.

And as far as Topamax is concerned, well, its nicknames (Dopamax, Stupamax, Dumbamax, etc.) on here should speak volumes on what it does to your cognition. I remember discussing cognitive SEs of Lamictal with my pdoc and he noted that most of the studies about Lamictal's cognitive SEs were in comparison to Topamax's cognitive SEs, in which case the researchers doing the studies may as well be comparing Lamictal to being hit on the head with a hammer. :smartass:

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Thank you for the info! And how would I reasonably perform at a job feeling dopey!!!

Are you fairly knowledgeable about bipolar? How would I tell if im "cycling"? I can tell you this: on any given day at any given moment I go from being happy to severley anxious within minutes. I cant keep a clear decision of how Im feeling and keep swinging back and forth. Ive also done the whole "manic" thing, dangerous situations, drugs alcohol...the last time that happened was Nov 2010.

But today I feel ok for now :unsure:

If you are very afraid of cognitive SEs (yes, they can interfere with things as mundane as being a made... or a lab monkey assistant for that matter), most doctors are going to tell you to stay away from the topamax. I have one friend who didn't have any cognitive SEs from the drug when she tried it for migraines, but her IQ is like 250 and probably resistant to the med, and she had a sulfa drug allergy reaction (topiramate is related to the sulfa antibiotics slightly) within 3 days of starting and stopped because of that.

Lamictal's SEs are comparatively mild to being hit over the head with the hammer known as Topamax, but there are two complaints I see a lot of here on CB:

  • The Rash (A drug reaction called toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN) and is very rare but deadly, if you start Lamictal and develop any sort of rash you're supposed to stop it immediately)
  • Aggravation of cycling (only a couple people on here have complained about it, at least, my pdoc has never seen it happen in his patients, but since you are so concerned about cycling you might want to tell your pdoc and adjust doses accordingly to avoid it or take whatever other measures s/he sees fit).

As far as bipolar cycling, I'm not the expert, although my moods can cycle rapidly between irritated, depressed, and "hanging in there". Fortunately I'm usually in "hanging in there" mood, though that's due to the meds. My diagnosis on the insurance sheet is "Bipolar-NOS" since I cycle too rapidly for BP I/II and have only had one extended period that could really have qualified even as a hypomania. My other "hypomanias" last all of 4-6 hours. Occasionally when I'm very depressed I (rather strangely) can have "classic manic" symptoms, such as spending beyond my means (my means = zero, so buying a $40 vacuum cleaner does count), and not eating... I lose a lot of weight when extremely depressed. :violin: So maybe that makes some of my "depressed" periods actually "mixed", I'm not sure. Honestly, cycling in MDD/bipolar is a very controversial topic in general and it's hard for me to tell even if *I'm* cycling, so maybe it would help for you to keep a "mood journal" and show it to your pdoc, highlighting any events you think represent mixed/manic states.

Best of luck in getting better, it's good that you've taken the first steps already!

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Ive had a terrible time keeping a job with my illness. Not as bad as many of you but enough to understand where youre coming from. Loud noises startle me and sometimes I have to work around that. Boss wont let me trade those duties for something else. Might need to get a Dr's note. Im depressed and fatigued all the time and im chronically late to work, and incoherent in the morning due to the fatigue. Its like I cant put two thoughts together sometimes. And if I take the wrong meds or dont get enough sleep I get really super irritable. Thats almost gotten me fired a few times. The apathy and anhedonia is awful. I dont want to be social and Im not interested in anything. Just getting my job done is a struggle.

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There's really not much research supporting the use of topamax as a mood stabilizer at all. Lamictal is really a much better choice for most people.

I've been on and off of it a few times, and have never found tapering it to be so difficult.

I don't actually think it's true that most studies of cognitive effects of lamictal compare it to topamax.

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Glad to see Im not the only one with employment difficulties.

Im hoping on a mood stabilizer will keep me employed for awhile. Im thinking Lamictal is a good one for me due to its antidepressant properties as well.

Now if i c an only deal with this anxiety....

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I have become less employable as I have aged, due to a combination of a deteriorating resume, migraine, and bipolar illness.

This year, my migraines are disabling me, flat out. But usually I start each new job full steam ahead. After about a month, I start deteriorating: becoming less organized, more forgetful, less able to "multi-task." Although I am personally convinced "multi-task" is manager-speak for "busy work." Then my temper gets short. At some point, I usually scold someone that I shouldn't (e.g., an equal or superior). This happens to me on a personal level now and then, but being abjectedly apologetic works better with friends than with bosses. Plus, my friends are willing to excuse the crazy, especially when I am the one to point it out and apologize. Pre-emptive apologies save my life monthly. Employers are less willing to placate me.

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This year, my migraines are disabling me, flat out. But usually I start each new job full steam ahead. After about a month, I start deteriorating: becoming less organized, more forgetful, less able to "multi-task."

Yes! Thats me minus the migraines!!! (hope you feel better). Also when I have a very busy life schedule, my MI seems to flare-up, things are much harder to deal with and it affects mt employment.

But Im trying Lamictal and Klonapin (as needed). The anxiety is just too much!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update- Im on generic Lamictal 25mg, not noticing any difference but Im VERY depressed. Maybe when I up the dose to 50 mg Ill feel somthing.

Im also ready to quit this damn cleaning job.

Why cant I just stay put at a friggen job????? I KNOW its because of my crazy life and mind. Stress just throws me out of commision.

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